The 42nd edition of the East African regional club championship, the CECAFA Kagame Cup, will kick off in Rwanda on Saturday 6 July and will run for two weeks until Sunday 21 when the final and 3rd place playoff matches will be played.
A total of 16 teams will contest this year’s edition with Kenya being represented by Gor Mahia and Bandari FC, who earned their places by winning the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) and FKF Shield respectively.
Bandari have been placed in a tough Group B that has defending champions Azam FC (Tanzania), local team Mukura Sports (Rwanda) and KCCA (Uganda) while five-time winners of the tournament Gor, are in a relatively manageable Group D alongside DC Motema Pemba (DR Congo), KMKM (Zanzibar) and AS Ports (Djibouti).
Gor who finished 3rd in last year’s edition held in Tanzania, will kick off their tournament on Monday 8 against DCMP at the 5,000 seater Umuganda Stadium in Gisenyi from 3:30 CAT.
Bandari on their part will be up against KCCA on Sunday 7 at the 20,000 capacity Huye Stadium in Butare from 1PM CAT.
Heegan FC of Somalia will get the ball rolling on Saturday against Green Eagles of Zambia, one of three guest teams at the tournament with the other two being DRC duo of DCMP and TP Mazembe.
Arguably the highlight of Match Day 1 fixtures will be on Sunday when Rayon Sports take on TP Mazembe at the Kigali Stadium from 3:30PM.
The top two teams in each group will qualify for the quarter-finals which will be played on Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 July, with the semi-finals being played two days later, on Friday 19 July.
Ahead of this year’s tourney Tanzania heavyweights Simba SC and Yanga have withdrawn, citing logistical reasons, including the unavailability of key players who are currently on national team duty at the ongoing AFCON finals in Egypt.